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EPA Considers Delaying Carbon Deadline After Utilities Object

Emissions rise from the American Electric Power Company's coal-fired John E. Amos Power Plant in Winfield, West Virginia, U.S. on July 31, 2014.

Emissions rise from the American Electric Power Company's coal-fired John E. Amos Power Plant in Winfield, West Virginia, U.S. on July 31, 2014.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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The Obama administration may ease off on a deadline for power companies to start meeting new rules to cut carbon emissions, the top environmental regulator said, a win for utilities that complained too much was required too soon.

Gina McCarthy, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, offered Tuesday what she said was a “big hint,” saying she heard complaints that the 2020 deadline for states to make steep cuts is too strict. The final climate standards take effect in 2030, and many state regulators said the pace could endanger the reliability of the electric grid.